First a little background. I'm just recently back into riding after almost a 10 year layoff. I've been riding my old hardtail with no suspension and trying to keep up on group shop rides with guys who race, so suffice it to say, my rig is holding me back. The riding varies from climbing to cross country to downhill, but mainly singletrack on the downhill, nothing crazy. I also use my bike on the road and will continue to do so until I can safely afford a road bike. I plan on sticking with a hardtail as cost is an issue.
I've narrowed my selection down to the Fisher Piranha, which I rode for a week in Steamboat earlier in the summer and the Kona Cinder Cone, which I've ridden in a parking lot. I liked both and to be honest, I couldn't tell much of a difference between the ride of either. So, my decision comes down to specs, with price playing a small roll, but not a determinitive one.
First question, Manitou Axel Elite or Marzocchi MZ-3? I'll probably replace either after next season at the latest, but this is still of concern for the time being.
Second, the drivetrains are similar except for the freewheel, SRAM PG950 (11-34) v. Deore (11-32) and the F/D which is Alivio v. Deore. I know Deore is better than Alivio, but is it noticable on the F/D? And will I recognize a difference between the freewheels?
Third, do brake levers make any noticeable difference at this price range? Tektro v. Avid FR-5. Both bikes have Hayes HMX-2 mechanical discs.
And lastly and most importantly, which frame will be better to grow on and upgrade? As I previously mentioned, I rode both and they were both comfortable, so I guess the question is which is more comparable with the higher end frames in their respective lineups?
I realize this is long, but I wanted to explain my situation as best as possible to get the most accurate answers. Thanks in advance.
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Thread: New Bike Piranha v. Cinder Cone
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